Manufacturer: Bates (View all products by Bates)
Model: Caprilli All Purpose saddle with CAIR panel (View all Caprilli All Purpose with CAIR Panel System reviews)
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I bought the saddle in August 2009 for Approx $2000 Cdn, including a full set of changeable gullets. I picked out the saddle because I have ridden in a number of different saddles on different horses at different schools for over two years. Many were hard and uncomfortable to sit in. I observed the most comfortable saddles were Wintec, so I tried a Bates test saddle(same company), which worked well and bought one.
Likes: The changeable gullet has allowed me to fit the saddle to every different horse I ride, from a 17.2HH Belgian Cross to a 15.3HH Thoroughbred with thin withers. The Cair panel automatically adjusts to the musculature of different horses. Every time I remove it, there is a smooth, even flat area with no evidence of pressure points. I find the saddle seat is very comfortable for long rides across country. The carbon tree allows for full and close connection to the horse's movement when doing dressage. The CAIR panel absorbs a lot of shock when jumping. My stirrup caught on a broken branch during a freak-out, and pulled right off, just as it ought to; yet stays absolutely secure when jumping.
Dislikes: The bolt guides for the changeable gullet are just stapled to the carbon tree. This makes the guides automatically slightly loose. Several staples came loose and nearly tore the leather. The points of the staples were not all flat, leaving sharp points under the carbon tree. I had to solve the issue by removing the staples and re-securing the bolt guides with small, round head screws in the carbon tree.
Quality: Aside from the problem with the stapled bolt guides, the leather used is first class, the seams are well-stitched, and I found the work to be very sound.
Summary: I absolutely recommend this saddle to everyone who asks. Everyone else who tries it agrees it is superbly comfortable and soft. I have been using this saddle two or three times a week, indoors and outside, in varying weather, continuously for over a year, and it is in excellent condition, with almost no visible wear. It has been used on a dozen different horses, has always fit, and it is far and away the most comfortable saddle that I have ever sat in. Worth every cent.
Author: BG Hearns
Usefulness Rating: 3.06667 out of 5.
15 reader(s) voted.
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